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Internet Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 1


Golin/Harris has acquired MWW Group, the nation's No. 20 firm with $27 million in 1999 fee income, to make the Chicago headquartered firm a force in the New York region.

MWW registered $4.3 million in New York City income and $6.2 million from its East Rutherford and Trenton, N.J., offices last year.

G/H was ranked No. 21 in New York with $8.7M.
Burson-Marsteller was No. 1 with $66 million in fees, while Ruder Finn was No. 2 at $46 million.

Richard Jernstedt, CEO of G/H, said MWW will position G/H among the largest firms in the New York market. He also was attracted to MWW for its public affairs, technology and corporate communications strengths.

Michael Kempner, MWW CEO, is to remain CEO of MWW, which is to become a "brand" of G/H. The firm's Seattle office will continue to operate as MWW/Savitt.

MWW clients include Continental Airlines, Bally Total Fitness, and Puerto Ricans for Civic Action.
The firm also has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and Olympia, Wash.


Hosea Martin, associate VP of United Way, San Francisco, and with UW 12 years, joined the International Assn. of Business Communicators as media relations director. He was previously a magazine editor for Prudential Insurance, and a marketing manager for Coca-Cola and Safeway.
Wilma Mathews of Arizona State University has been handling press relations for IABC.

David Nobs, with 20+ years of PR experience, has joined Shandwick as executive VP in Los Angeles. He will head business development efforts, and manage consumer and sports efforts. Nobs was an EVP at Cone...Tom Drohan, Connecticut PR counselor who has advised the new Archbishop of New York, Edward M. Egan, named a sr. consultant at Dilenschneider Group, New York. Drohan has been in PR for 30 years...David Allan has joined Ketchum's global corporate practice as SVP and head of the firm's New York IR group. He was an SVP at Robinson Lerer Montgomery and, most recently, IR director at investment banker Friedman Billings Ramsey Group.


Joseph Fisher has stepped down as president/ CEO, U.S. of Burson-Marsteller to pursue opportunities with the parent company, Young & Rubicam.

Fisher was replaced by Chet Burchett, who is B-M's Chicago-based president and CEO/Midwest.

Burchett, who joined B-M in 1998 from Edelman PR Worldwide, will remain in Chicago.

Linda Recupero, 39, has replaced Burchett as chair of the firm's U.S. brand marketing practice. She is based in New York.

Coates Joins B-M from Olympics

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates joined B-M Oct. 16 as non-executive chairman of its Australia operations.

B-M has offices in Sydney and Melbourne and works with several Australian and international companies including Compaq, Foster's Brewing, Motorola, SmithKline Beecham and Andersen Consulting.

Coates said his involvement with the Sydney Games had been "one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I will continue my close involvement with Australia and the Olympics."


Susan Watson, VP-IR at PepsiCo, has joined Interpublic as senior VP-IR, a new post.

Sean Orr, CFO at Interpublic, said the agency's "size and scope" required it to create a formal IR department. Interpublic went public in March 1971.

The firm's shares trade at $35.44 near its $32.69 52-week low. The stock's 52-week high was $58.38.

Watson has held IR posts at Nielsen Media Research, Cognizant Corp.-both Dun & Bradstreet spin-offs-and Gannett. She began her career as a securities analyst at Scudder, Stevens & Clark, and tracked media stocks at Morgan Stanley.


The Securities and Exchange Commission said its Regulation Fair Disclosure will kick in on Oct. 23 despite requests by NIRI and the Securities Industry Assn. to delay the effective date until Dec. 29.

Louis Thompson, president of NIRI, said: "We are extremely disappointed in the SEC's gross insensitivity to the reality of today's volatile market, where the last thing we need is more volatility created by the disruption in ongoing earnings guidance as companies sort out how they will adjust their disclosure policies to comply with" the new rule.

Internet Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 2


The CueCat ad scanning device that lets readers access websites via bar codes that are printed with articles is neither helpful nor easy to use, according to the Oct. 12 issue of The Wall Street Journal. Burson-Marsteller handles CueCat.

Walter Mossberg, the paper's "Personal Technology" columnist, wrote that nearly every web page called up by the CueCat, which is marketed by Digital Convergence, was useless.

The scanner also required a lot of rubbing and dragging across product bar codes. "I could have typed in the web address more quickly," wrote Mossberg.

He also noted that some are worried that CueCat violates privacy because it "transmits a unique code with every scan, identifying users by age, gender, and zip code."

DC, however, says its CueCat has safeguards that assure that information is never linked to a person's name or e-mail address.

Mossberg concluded that for now, "CueCat isn't worth installing and using, even though it's available free of charge."

B-M worked extensively with Mossberg, according to Tracey Pontarelli, who works on the account.

"I respect Mossberg's opinion, but the launch of CueCat is less than 60 days old," she said.

"CueCat technology is only going to get better," Pontarelli added.

CueCat plans to distribute 10 million of the devices by the end of the year.


President Clinton has signed an executive order that requires Federal ad contracts to fairly represent minority ad agencies, and said "special attention" should be given to placing ads in ethnic media.

Clinton's directive also requires Federal departments to compensate minority agencies for their work based on fair market rates.

The order, which was signed at a White House ceremony on Oct. 6, directs "Federal departments and agencies to ensure that all creation, placement, and transmission of Federal advertising are fully reflective of the nation's diversity," and "each Federal department and agency is to aggressively seek to ensure (that) small and disadvantaged businesses participate in procurement for the information technology and telecommunications industry."

It was the first time a President has issued an executive order that addresses advertising.
Government agencies have 90 days to develop and submit to the Office of Management and Budget a long-term strategic plan for complying with the order.

GOSSIP SUMMIT STAGED IN NEW YORK, a leading talk radio web network, hosted a "Gossip Summit" to discuss the state of gossip reporting in the digital age, on Oct. 17 in New York.

Michael Kaminer PR is handling PR for the invitation-only event, which was held at Shelly's New York and broadcast live on

Panelists included Jeannie Williams of USA Today; Jeannette Walls of; Michael Musto of the Village Voice; Liz Smith of The New York Post; Lloyd Grove of The Washington Post; Steve Brill of Brill's Content; Ted Casablanca and Marilyn Beck of E! Online; Maer Roshan of New York Magazine; William Bastone of The Smoking Gun; Marcus Baram and Marc Malkin of US Weekly; Roger Friedman of; Janet Charlton of Star Magazine; Amy Reiter of, and host Chaunce Hayden.

The panelists discussed how the Internet has altered the gathering, delivery, and impact of gossip. personalities Richard Johnson, who is editor of The New York Post's "Page Six," and George Rush and Joanna Molloy, the husband and wife gossip team who write for The New York Daily News, hosted the event.


Xerox broke its corporate policy of not commenting on "rumors and speculation" on Oct. 13 by issuing a statement meant to reassure jittery investors that it is not going broke.

The move was in response to rumors sweeping international money markets that the world's biggest copier company would soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Those rumors "followed the sun" as markets opened for business, said Jeff Simek, PR director at Xerox.
They helped drive Xerox shares down to $10 on the New York Stock Exchange, which is a nine-year low. The stock's 52-week high is $43.31.

Has Access to $7B Line of Credit

In the statement, Xerox "reaffirmed it has adequate liquidity including its $7 billion revolving credit agreement, which is available through October 2002, as disclosed in the company's 8-K filing with the SEC on October 10."

The two-paragraph statement also said Xerox "planned no additional comment on this issue."

The release was distributed via BusinessWire and posted on Xerox's website.

Simek is listed as the media contact. Another staffer told this website that Xerox is handling the crisis in house, "for now."

Xerox CEO Paul Allaire, who returned to the helm after the ouster of Rick Thoman in May, has said Xerox has an "unsustainable business model."

He slashed Xerox's dividend from 20 cents to five cents a share on Monday, a move that will save the company $400 million a year.

The company, which lost $98 million for the first-half of this year, told analysts last week that it will lose from 15 to 20 cents per share for the third-quarter. Analysts had been forecasting that Xerox would earn 12 cents a share.

Allaire plans to give details of a "bold action" plan to restore Xerox to profitability when it releases its third-quarter financials on Oct. 24.

That plan, according to analysts, could include spinning off various units, or putting the company up for sale.

Internet Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 3


Andrew Serwer, who is editor-at-large at Fortune, was named financial contributor to ABC News Moneyscope.

Moneyscope is the consolidation of the business reporting assets of ABC News in a single unit producing editorial content and program material across all ABC News programs, including

Serwer will offer reports and analysis on business, personal finance, and investing to all ABC News broadcasts.

He will appear weekly on ABC News "Good Morning America," and will provide financial analysis for the program.

Serwer will contribute to's new interactive business and personal finance center, also known as MoneyScope ( He will provide users of the website with a weekly finance column, live chats and other analysis and advice about the stock market and other financial news designed specifically for the personal investor.

Serwer has been editor-at-large at Fortune since 1996. He joined the magazine as a reporter in 1984 and was later promoted to associate editor.

He was a senior writer from 1995 until 1998. Besides covering Wall Street, investing, information technology, and entertainment for the magazine, Serwer has also edited and written the front-of-the-book section of Fortune, which includes breaking news and features focusing on business personalities, media, and technology. Serwer also writes a daily market round-up on, called "Street Life," that has more than 50,000 E-mail subscribers.


Leeza Gibbons, who will host "Extra" this season, was in New York last week to sell the syndicated show's new look to publicists.

Gibbons spoke to many PR pros, who were invited to a party that Extra held Oct. 11 in New York at The Light.

"The word in Hollywood is that `Extra' is changing its image because it was blackballed by all the major PR firms," according to The New York Post.

Under its previous producers, "no one would allow their clients to go on the show," the Post said. The publicists believed the old show wanted to give actors a bad PR reputation.

MEDIA BRIEFS ___________________________

The Wall Street Journal Online has passed the 500,000-subscriber mark, according to Dow Jones & Co., which started the online business news site in the fall of 1996.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project said the 2000 Olympics was the most popular Internet event in history, but more people still relied on traditional media for Olympic news.

The official website of the Sydney games got 11.3 billion visits during the events, compared with 643 million for the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, and 370,000 for the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

During the Games, 58% of Americans got their information on the Olympics from TV, 12% from newspapers and 7% from radio.

That compares with fewer than 4% of adults who got their results from the Internet.

Bloomberg TV will have access to 12.6 million new households through a national distribution agreement with Time Warner Cable, which clears the way for Bloomberg TV to pursue carriage on all of TW's regional cable systems.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 4


Fareed Zakaria, who is managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, was named editor of Newsweek International.
Zakaria, who will report to editor Mark Whitaker, will join the magazine in January.

He will be responsible for the content and direction of Newsweek's overseas editions, and will also write a regular column for Newsweek and appear on an occasional basis in The Washington Post.

Named "one of the 21 most important people of the 21st century" by Esquire magazine in 1999, Zakaria has been the managing editor of Foreign Affairs since 1993. He has been a contributing editor at Newsweek since 1996.

In other staff moves, national affairs editor Steve Strasser was named managing editor of Newsweek International, replacing Alexis Gelber, who was named director of special projects.
Strasser's wife, Joyce Barnathan, is assistant managing editor at Business Week.

Michael Hirsh, previously senior editor/diplomatic correspondent, was named foreign editor of the U.S. edition.

PEOPLE ____________________________

Roger Friedman has resigned as managing editor of Phillips Business Information, which was just acquired by VS&A Comms. Partners III, New York. Friedman, who oversaw eight PBI publications, including PR News, is getting married Oct. 21.

Greg Lohr was recently named to cover the marketing and media beat for The Washington Business Journal. 703/312-8344.

Tom Sietsema has succeeded Phyllis Richman as The Washington Post's restaurant critic.

Joe Davis was named acting editor of Environment Writer, a Washington, D.C.-based newsletter published by the Environmental Health Center, which is a division of the non-governmental National Safety Council.
Davis replaces EW's founding editor, Bud Ward, who becomes a contributing editor.


A Florida state court jury on Aug. 18 awarded $425,000 to broadcast reporter Jane Akre in her lawsuit against a Tampa station (WTVT-TV) and Fox Television, its owner.

Akre and reporter Steve Wilson charged in their suit that Fox had killed a story on bovine growth hormone (BGH) under industry pressure.

Both Fox and Wilson, who received no award, filed appeals. The court was scheduled to begin hearings on Oct. 12.

Although a jury denied three other claims in the lawsuit filed by the wife-husband reporting team, it found in late August that Akre had been fired in violation of Florida's Whistleblower Act after she threatened to complain to the FCC about Fox's alleged attempt to falsify her story.

In February 1997, Akre and Wilson put together a four-part series on BGH and milk, quoting several experts expressing worries that BGH-produced milk may increase cancer risks in humans.

BGH's main producer, the Monsanto Co., put pressure on the Fox station not to air the series, saying its concerns were unsubstantiated. The reporters refused to change the series and it never ran. Akre and Wilson were fired in November 1997, and the couple sued the station for breach of contract and retaliation in 1998.

More information on the case is available on the plaintiff's website at

MEDIA BRIEFS _________________________

Smithsonian Publishing Group, which includes Smithsonian magazine and its spinoff, Air & Space, is moving its publishing offices to New York from Washington, D.C. has changed its name to The site provides local news and information for small-and medium-size businesses in more than 27 U.S. markets. The Ft. Lauderdale-based company recently acquired TrueAdvantage, an online provider of request for proposal services. has launched a free E-mail tracking service, called TV Alert, to notify investors via E-mail whenever their favorite financial topic or stock is mentioned on Bloomberg Television.

TV Alert, which was developed by, will provide a transcript of the text, a brief history of previous mentions, and links to view related video.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Dearborn, Mich., has relaunched Molding Systems magazine as Automotive Plastics. The new magazine will focus on technologies that help auto and transportation plastic-part processors design and manufacture better products. Ray Chalmer is chief editor. 313/ 271-1500.

Hanley-Wood, Washington, D.C.-based publisher, which is owned by VS&A Communications Partners III, New York, has just published the first issue of ihousing magazine.

The quarterly is geared toward Internet-savvy building professionals. Each issue will have web news, trends and site reviews, and the latest on buying and selling housing services via the Internet plus reviews of information that can be found on the web, and how-to's.

Boyce Thompson, who is editor of Builder magazine, is also editor of ihousing. 202/452-0800.

News Corp.'s News Network has settled a lawsuit against and the website's largest shareholder, fund manager James Cramer, over the site's cancellation of a weekly TV show the two companies jointly produced.

The show was cancelled after Fox barred commentators from discussing stocks they own and because of critical comments Fox officials made about the show.

The New York state court suit followed Cramer's recommendation on a show in April that investors buy's stock

Internet Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 7


Florida State University, national football champs, is also the No. 1 "party school," according to Beer and Circus, a book by Indiana University Professor Murray Sperber. He claims partying overwhelms studying at many colleges.

"If a beer-and-circus poll existed, FSU would be the national champ," writes Sperber.

He notes that the school is "always near or at the top of `party school' lists" including the one published by the Princeton Review (not related to Princeton University).

While FSU officials dispute the scientific validity of the Princeton findings, Sperber says they are based on "an enormous number of questionnaires."

Princeton researchers visit campuses and ask students how many hours a day they study and how much alcohol and drugs they consume. The popularity of fraternities and sororities is studied. Colleges are also rated on whether students are "happy."

Sperber contends that FSU "rates very low in quality of undergraduate education" and is a "prime example of an institution that provides its students with beer-and-circus and not much undergraduate education."

FSU Rebuts Charges

Asked about the book, FSU officials said they had not yet read it but were well aware of Princeton's findings in the past few years.

The media relations office of FSU provided a two-page statement by president Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte attacking the Princeton study, which first named FSU as the No.1 party school in 1996.

The statement said Princeton mixes good information supplied by the schools themselves (admissions policies, financial aid, etc.) with bad information about dorm life, parties, etc., supplied on an anecdotal basis by students.

Blasting the Princeton findings as admittedly "unscientific," FSU in 1999 gave Princeton the "Golden Gargoyle Award" for the "most manipulative, bogus research."

Rayburn Criticizes Rankings

Also criticizing the Princeton rankings was Prof. J.D. Rayburn of the Dept. of Communications, a longtime leader in PR Society of America and the Florida PR Society.

About 500 of FSU's 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students are majoring in communications including 60 who are majoring in PR, he said.

FSU notes that the difficult subject of biology is the most popular major at FSU; it has been among the top 20 schools recruiting National Merit Scholars in four of the past five years; it has the highest graduation rate of all Florida universities, and many campus groups have pledged to go alcohol-free.

FSU was one of ten schools seeking a $700,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to lead a national project to curb student alcohol use.


Art Stevens, official candidate for chair-elect of PRSA against write-in candidate Joann Killeen, said he would allow non-accredited presidents of chapters to be members of the Assembly.

He said many chapter presidents who are not APR are "frustrated that as leaders of their chapters they cannot be Assembly delegates."

The current rule is that all national board members and Assembly delegates must be APR.

Responses to Questions

Stevens, who answered ten questions put to him by this NL, said he still believes that national board members and officers should be APR.

Killeen, replying to the same ten questions (their complete answers are on said she supports the APR requirement but is willing to live with whatever the Assembly decides.

The marketing of APR should be directed at incoming PR pros rather than veterans who may not see the value of it, said Stevens. He believes that in "five to ten years a much higher percentage of all PRSA members will be accredited."

O.K. for Blue Book in January

On other subjects, both Stevens and Killeen said the Blue Book of members should be published in January when its cost can be accommodated by PRSA's present financial condition and that there should be no quota of senior PRSA members working at headquarters. Both say the Assembly should pass the next two phases of the dues increase.

Stevens said a PRSA member should be able to send one e-mail that reaches all 282 Assembly delegates (282 separate e-mails are now required) while Killeen supports this but said it's too late to do it this year.

Stevens prefers the title of "president" for the top elected officer while Killeen says it "doesn't matter what the title is...what matters is the work that gets done."

Killeen Would Ask Members About Pubs

Stevens favors continuing Tactics and Strategist while Killeen says they will be re-evaluated as part of a member survey in 2001. Member opinions will be the deciding factor, she said.

Stevens' definition of PR, from his book, The Persuasion Explosion, is: "PR is the shaping of perception, through communication, for the achievement of positive goals."

Killeen defines PR as "building relationships with key constituent and stakeholder groups...we listen to these audiences; we interpret them to senior management..."

On the question of deferred dues, Killeen notes that many associations do so and that at present PRSA is deferring the part of dues that cover subscriptions to T&S. She has proposed that PRSA go back to a January billing date for all members "so that we can see the renewal rate early in the year."

Internet Edition, October 18, 2000, Page 8

The International Assn. of Business Communicators, having spent $1 million on the initial stages of its "TalkingBusinessNow" e-business, needs $400K to get the site launched. Sponsorships are available at anywhere from $25K to $300K...Development Technologies, which has been working with PRSA h.q. nearly two years on installation of the iMIS computer software (and PRSA is still not satisfied), has thus far declined to make any public comment on the criticisms voiced about DT's work by PRSA staffers and officers. PRSA has said it may refuse to pay the last bill of DT and may have to re-enter all the data from its previous computer setup...the income tax return of PRSA, originally due June 30, is going to be very late again this year. A request for an extension was filed in April and another one in July. Last year the return was not filed until November. The form contains financial information not in the Deloitte & Touche audits including the salary and other payments of COO Ray Gaulke.

Art Stevens, candidate for chair-elect of PRSA, favors members being able to e-mail the 282 Assembly delegates with one e-mail rather than 282. This is in the spirit of the PRSA code which calls on members to espouse "the democratic process." It would only take someone at h.q. an hour or two to set this up and would allow rank-and-file members to voice their opinions in advance of the Assembly Oct. 21.

Beer and Circus, a mostly negative view of bigtime, sports-oriented colleges, had a positive note about the J-school at the University of Missouri. A student is quoted as saying: "Most students here, except for the journalism majors, feel they don't need to try hard [in classes] and they can get by and get their degree." B&C faults the big beer companies even though most have pulled back on ads in campus newspapers. Instead, says the book, they are helping to fund "Ladies' Night," two-for-one" drink specials and other promotions that draw students every weekday night to the scores of bars that lay just off-campus. There are at least 52 bars and restaurants outside of the University of Georgia at Athens, a Los Angeles Times reporter found. Another positive note is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is trying to change student attitudes toward drinking via grants. Many schools have refused to participate in the program, noted one administrator...this topic is an important one for the PR world since a 1995 study by Prof. Jack Haberstroh of Virginia University found that members of the Counselors Academy of PRSA are appalled at writing skills of graduates. Even some honor graduates of Ivy League schools cannot write or think clearly, one counselor told Haberstroh. "It's a disaster area and universities must do something about it," he wrote in the 1995 Winter PR Quarterly (also described in 4/5/95 NL).

Salomon Smith Barney analyst Guy Moszkowski last week reversed his negative opinion about Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's high-yield bonds after a complaint by Morgan, the New York Post reported Saturday, Oct. 14. The bank's stock had plummeted from $92 to $74.50 until it reported that losses were only $90 million and not $500M to $1 billion as rumored. Moszkowski had reported that Morgan's deals fare worse than those of other underwriters but then retracted that conclusion, saying Morgan's "risk-management disciplines are among the strongest in the industry."

Although former PRSA president Judith Bogart heatedly told the Assembly last year that rumors of irregularities in the nominating process were false, criticisms of that process continue to surface. National director Tom Bartikoski, in a letter to the current nominating committee Sept. 26, wrote: "Last year, I personally witnessed advocacy for competing candidates behind the scenes that made our Assembly elections for officers a very negative experience for me, and many in the Assembly." Reports continue to circulate that some key insider was censored or chastised in some way for behavior relating to last year's nominations.


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